There is much to enjoy and appreciate in So Percussion‘s freely released remix project, Amid the Noise Remixes, a collection of reworkings of their album Amid the Noise enacted by three of the four members of the group: Eric Beach, Josh Quillen, and Jason Treuting (only member Adam Sliwinski isn’t credited on the collection’s dozen remixes). The first remix on the record makes for helpful comparison with the original, because the original is also available for free download, from cantaloupemusic.com, the website of the releasing record label. The original record came out toward the end of 2006. The remix collection came out in December 2011.
The original, “June,” is a percussion (but not percussive) exploration of tone, thick ringing globules of tone that announced Amid the Noise as something other than So Percussion’s listeners had come to expect. To upend expectations, they opened the album on a track essentially lacking in plosives: in verbal terms, it’s all extended vowels, virtually absent of consonants (MP3). Even at a narrative level, it is willfully remote, a stretch of concentrated stasis in place of thematic development. It is splendid.